Saturday, December 25, 2004
Please welcome my old friend, Woody Williams, to the blogosphere. He is an extraordinary artist and composer, and has been for decades. He is available for concert and DJ venues. Here is where you can find him.
This is the Info Page, which has links to the History of Electronic Music and other edifying phenomena.
(well, actually Stribley is aboriginally from Perth, Australia)
[EXCERPT from Hitched to Everything, by Robert Stribley}
As I read it, that poem ties in with the implicit theme of this blog--or at least the name, I've chosen--which I've never taken the time to elaborate on. John Muir was likely referring specifically to nature when he said it: "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe." But I intend the theme to be even broader: philosophically, religiously, naturally, universally.
However you want to read it, we're all hitched together. Democrats and Republicans, hippies and hipsters, men and women, believers and non-believers, businessmen and homeless people, single mothers and Baptist deacons, Americans and Frenchmen, Westerners and Middle Easterners, gays and straights, Yuschenko and Yanukovych, flower arrangers and day traders, dogs and cats, the PHD candidate and the unschooled, bullies and submissives, the fashionable and the frump, priests and petty criminals, the married and the single, movie stars and children in their school play, introverts and extroverts, elephants and insects, the poet and the illiterate, black and white, gym bunnies and couch potatoes, the eldery and the newborn, North Koreans and South Koreans, congressmen and trial lawyers, the loved and the unloved, Protestants and Catholics, dullards and debutantes, Muslims and Christians, pacifists and terrorists. No, they are not all the same, but they are all hitched together.
Like it or not, believe it or not. It's true. It's sometimes a thing of horror, but it's always a thing of beauty.
I often have to remind myself that it's true. But maybe that's what's worth remembering during this season.
A welcome message indeed!
Here's an idea: how about (in addition to replicating the paper online, which is a valuable resource) having an entirely different community site that is branded separately but relatedly. That might help management relax. Then aggregate blogs, hold forums, have polls, have very-local-weather reports, review movies, have the best possible community events calendar, create (simple, low-barrier-to-entry) virtual worlds, assign stories collectively, have photo contests, whatever. But in a slightly different voice.
One model I like is the Time Out New York offline setup. It's got the voice of an informal blog, with regular columnists, plus all possible information about all possible events. It's overwhelming, but I can imagine that the online Greensboro version might have a more manageable amount of information. Time Out Greensboro plus The Aggregated Voice of Greensboro -- with revenue coming only from large concerns placing listings. No subscriber fees or "premium" content that's hard to get to -- the friendly craigslist model.
about susan crawford
Friday, December 24, 2004
This animated greeting was created by an old friend from Massachusetts, Tom Priest. Tom and I helped each other in the first days of the WWW, each showing the other new tricks and tools, and each inspiring (I hope) the other to keep with it. We both are still with it. Only he has actually evolved, whereas I backed my truck into a mudhole. :)
Feel free to drop him a note. May you all (both) have a wondrous holiday season.
While reading Lenslinger' hurricane tales, I was reminded of Hurricane Hugo, and a couple of friends who had covered it, from Charleston...ground zero.
Roger Mellen covered it, as producer of a Charlotte TV News division, and Rob Urban covered it for the Charlotte Observer. Their reports were hair-raising and wondrous. I would not have wanted to do it.
Years later, Mr. Urban would be awakened by yours truly and told that the WTC had been it, and that he better get up. We were in Manhattan. Upper East. Nice place!
Just not that month.
And just like with Hugo, Rob raced toward the maelstrom.
The path from Hugo to 9/11 was also quite interesting. After leaving the observer, he and his lovely wife, Laura Zelenko, got on with Bloomberg and became bureau chiefs in Prague for a few years, and later Moscow for another few years. Stupidly I never visited...except to meet them in Amsterdam and Paris.
I hope to see them here today or tomorrow. Yay!!
I lost touch with Mr. Mellen sadly, mostly due to having fallen for a little lady, who absorbed my attention. But while we did hang out, he was a most gracious host, with marvelous music and quite a culinary gift. Patti Smith's "Dream of Life" remains a favorite.
Thanks to the Internets, I have been able to locate this maghificent gentleman, who is now Visiting Assistant Professor in Journalism and Coordinator of the Electronic Journalism at George Mason, and working on the PhD. Electronic Journalism. Hmm...
I wonder do he blog?
He is not unlike his picture.
Roger Mellen's website
Guess I'll have to pop him a note!
Graziella Patrucco de Solodow
"Your friends are your treasure", a good friend said to me the other day as we were talking about friends and my relative lack of material treasure. I could not agree more. One reason I love the internet is that you can locate old friends with whom you may have lost touch. Such is the case with the artist above. Back in the mid-'80s, Graziella was illustrating a children's book I was working on, while creating masterpieces for Caspari. She had to move to New Haven before we finished, but even to think now that she would do such a thing only reiterates the point my friend made earlier.
You can see some of her work here and here.
Treasure your friends over this holiday season. Treasure your treasure.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
as told to Anonymoses Hyperlincoln III
Once upon a time, there existed a man, and the man was a cone. But not that kind of cone. He was a Cone. And this was, decidedly, a good thing, for tis better to be a surname than to live in Surinam, and both are far better than being a shape...unless, that is, that shape is not unlike that possessed of your humble narrator and guide, Anonymoses the Archon.
At any rate, this good Mister Cone was talking to a good mister David Hoggard, and it occurred in their joint mind, that Buberian I-thouness that transcends time and space, to, maybe, create a happening, yes, and one centered around blogging, and bloggers, as they had suddenly become the stewards into whose hands the fate of the world had been entrusted...strange though it may seem at first.
And sure as eggs is eggs, their vision became reality, and their reality drew crafty and deipnosophical blogsmiths from throughout the land...which of course ends at Virginia, South Carolina and Tennessee. Some carpooled from our beloved capital, Raleigh, wherefrom my own grandparents hailed. Others came from that great center of culture, and home to America's first public university, Chapel Hill. And yet others came from lowly Charlotte, home of NASCAR and ketchup consumption*.
Most, however, came from their beloved Greensboro...named for collard greens, since everyone there ate them with great relish and sound. Well, let me amend that to read, "pretty good relish". I never really understood why it should be cooked with pork parts. Probly goes back to Isaac or sump'm. Hell, ask them! I'm from Charlotte! We got Wendy's!
And speaking of "got Wendy's", I got wind the other day that the mighty Piedmont Bloggers were taking their show on tour, and that they were, in essence, a new model for society, partly based on the knowledge gained at Black Mountain College, but coupled with all that the Internet can bring to bear upon the issues confronting bipeds in Bushworld.
There is even talk of a radio and television network, along with movies, broadway shows, the Beijing Opera, Dai Rakuda Kan, Live from the Roof of the White House, and other marvelous venues, but need we have anything to do with them? No. So why do I bring them up?
Now, you know that if I tell you, I will also have to sell you an automobile. Oh you do! Good!
Well, I will tell you why I bring it up, but not until the fifthteenth chapter, by which time you will have completely lost interest, and the fact that I write it in Hittite makes it all the less likely that you'll find out that, indeed, I have forgotten why I brought this up. Product-placement, maybe. Or maybe the Armagnac. These things are yet to be discovered.
So yes, Piedmont Bloggers. Who were they again, Margie? Oh yeah. Archons of the Blogosphere. Big phucking deal. Bet ya caint say that on ABCNNBCBS!
No, Jethro. I cannot. And I'd rather YOU didn't either. Besides, I haven't told the good folks who have had the karma (I shant make value judgements!) to be reading these words of wisdom, that Collardboro, rather greensboro, (oops! should I capitalize upon the moment?) is the erstwhither home of one William Sydney Porter, if my memory joins me, or better known as the candybar, Oh Henry! ... and where a lot of people spilt blood during the Revolutionary War.
Now some time in between the two, this Porter feller goes and changes his name to "O. Henry" of all thangs, and proceeds to write some of the most clever and beloved stories in America's history. And he was from this great city where the initial meeting of the great Piedmont Bloggers held their meeting of the minds. And just look around at the results!
Heaven on Earth. And you thought it couldn't be done. Not in your lifetime. Not in your lazy, couch-potato, good-for-nothing lifetime. But there it is! And you cannot doubt your eyes. Or your president. Not since the Ashcroft Dictates were handed down.
"Ah! 'The New Dictation!'. Haven't had time to absorb that one, yet, Sahib."
So why bring it up? Again. Chapter 15.
And then it happened...
It was a warm Saturday August morning in Greensboro, North Carolina, and the sun was shining. Shiny, happy people gathered in an art museum and began sharing ideas, bagels and coffee.
Greeting each Piedmont Blogger as they entered the Sanctum Sanctorum, was Mister Cone, himself, looking much more awake than I felt, and a good deal younger and more sprightly than in his online portrait. David Duchovny with a beard, maybe. At any rate, he made everyone feel welcome, thus facilitating further introductions and conversations that seemed to not want to end...so it was eventually carried down the street and into a Thai restaurant on the groovy Tate Street...on which the author once lived lo those many years ago, and also where the blog conference was held. Do I hear the Twilight Zone theme?
No. It was actually Pictures of Matchstick Men. Very similar though!
And so it was that the brave Piedmond Bloggers forced their way into the mind of Anonymoses.
So who were these other characters? You've only mentioned a few names. What are you, stupid?
To answer that question, I have devised a series of self-guided self-observational meditations, based on the poetry of Rumi and Spacius, only translated into Cobol, then back into Tocharian B, then transliterated into math symbols read by Steven Hawking. Well, not really, but I could! Instead, I turned to resident blogger-poet, Billy Jones, who was the master of virtual ceremonies. His skill set includes the ability to expand the size of a blog ten thousand fold. And he does it with his hands. Quite remarkable really, when you consider that in just one day, his productivity was 600,000%. And this is why he is not a lackbeard.
Legend has it that Matt Gross had come down from blogger heaven to add gravitas, wit and guidance to the celebration, and I, for one, want to corroborate that would-be urban legend. And he was not only there, he was trustworthy, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, cheerful, brave, and clean.
Matt was the man who is largely responsible for Howard Dean's meteoric rise early on, when no one thought he had a chance in Hell. And now he is helping to shape Erskine Bowles' campaign into a winning campaign. Matt has had a bright past, and is sure to have an even brighter future. I guarantee it.
Also adding gravitas to what was quickformed in weeks, and not in exotic Palo Alto, where BloggerCon III was to transpire at the lovely Stanford campus, or in the ancient halls of Harvard, two places known for attracting blognoscenti and the bloggerati, but rather in a mid-sized city in North Carolina which, although relatively unknown, promises to not always be so --and I smell victory -- was the great legend, Jerry Whatsisname? Just kidding! The one and only Jerry Bledsoe, author of many a 5-star book, and delighter and instructor of Carolinians far and wide, with his journalistic contributions.
And adding not gravitas, but a sort of levitogravitas, or gravitolevity, although properly called jocoseriosity, was the inevitable AND inimitable Bradford von Krantzenstein, or Brad Krantz for Bermuda short. And Mister Krantz was not long before he dropped the proverbial stinkbomb by insinuating that writing is not of worth if it not sold. But Mister Krantz perhaps deliberately left out the fact that a gift when converted into a commodity renders the bearer of the gift susceptible to losing that gift. Or as Schopenhouer warned, "writing for money has spelled the death of literature." But of course, the risible Mister Krantz was being his rascal self, and, his nudging was fuel for the group to rachet it up a notch. So we thank him for doing what he does best...get people to thinking. This is why he is one of the Legends of which I report.
Two legends that didn't make it, and may not have even known about the Conference, since they didn't get my email in time, are Charlotte talk show host, Mike Collins, and the lovely producer of the show, Wendy Braatz...both of whom I only just met today, the day after the Convention, because they had an Open House at the WFAE studios, which bring such great things to Charlotte as "Charlotte Talks" and NPR. I had the added pleasure of hearing Michael Reno Harrell, who was entertaining the guests, and who graced me with the great ballad, "The Nickle", about a girl from Syracuse who comes South.
Mister Edward Cone might like to know that Mister Collins is not unlike Mister Christopher Lydon, whose respectable work he is already familiar, since he was once a guest on his A-list rolodex watch. No wait. Something like that, or suckmycat, if you are from the deep south.
Anyway, I told Mike and Wendy that I was going to convince them to interview Mister Cone, if he would be so kind, and maybe Misters Gross or Hoggard, should their hands not already be full -- not assuming, mind, that Mister Cone's hands are idle. Of course they are not, so lay off! It's just that he was the host of the most recent conference (unconference), and has the added advantage of having been interviewed before. Not that the others haven't mind. Oh, never mind!
Among the blognoscenti was the good and young man, Jay Ovittore, who had to bear my calling him Joe, but whose forebearance was a deep well indeed. One of the younger Legends, Joe said to Anonymoses during post-prandial chit-chit that he had no interest in selling his ideas, but rather wanted to give them freely. Will this limit his abilities? I don't think so. And neither did (referring back to a previous conversation) Mister Cone or Ms Sinreich, both of whom actual do sell some of their work, but, because of their magnanimity, are not in fear of losing it.
Such magnanimity should be the coin of the realm, especially in the world of politics...which too often corrupts into just another way for someone to boost their wealth or power. But, as Lin Yu Tang, from his perch created by having been the only Chinese Nobel Prize winner, tells us: People are largely motivated by fear. The desire for wealth is but a fear of poverty. The desire for power is but a fear of impotence. The desire for Fame is but a fear of obscurity. And the desire for "Success" is but a combination of the three other fears...and a fear of failure therewith.
But Piedmont Blogger-politicians are not like this. They are fearless bodhisattvas guided by love and caring. Among the fearless bodhisattvas were Sally Greene, Jeff Thigpen, Mike Barber, Kirk Perkins, and Don Vaughan. But, as Gerry Goulder of Guilford GOP News, who is also a mighty Piedmont Blogger, points out:
Republicans are losing on the Internet. I attended the Piedmont Bloggers Conference this weekend. I may have been the only Republican political blogger present. Many local Democrat politicians were present, and they introduced me to a plethora of Democrat blogger web sites...Blogs increase participation, build a community, extend beyond campaign season, and build a strong bond between office holders/candidates and the voting public.
To fix the problem, all that need be done is to shut down blogs and the internet. Either that, or open it up to all people, and encourage and facilitate its use. At least that's what my plumber tells me. And he has a master's degree. In Science.
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
The article is called "Meet Greensboro, NC: Blog City...Age of Exuberance, Part Two, and can be found here.
I have invited them to come look at what is going on. Be nice!
The discussion continues on Daily Kos.
Monday, December 20, 2004
In Surreal McCoy, Chap. 9, verses 14-17, we learn that "the causes of anger are never so great as the consequences.", and so we, at Anonymoses Humor Corporation, want to extend the greased hand of Peace to all the good bloggers of Greensboro (and they are all good), and bid they disarm for Nonny. Play nice. Enjoy this the birth of the second Age of Exuberance.
Read the gory details at Patrick Eakes: The Man with 64 Emotions.
Don't just listen to me. This is what Jay Rosen of PressThink had to say:
Responding to Billy and others in Greensboro is PressThink reader Jude Nagurney Camwell, who also does a political blog for the Syracuse newspaper, where she's The Rational Liberal, and the nervy intelligence flows from her posts. This is from her personal blog, equally fine. Her observation tells us a lot about blogging and its strange sense of place. Remember, she's getting this from reading the blogs...
The people in Greensboro have such talent - and such heart! I wonder - is it something in the drinking water? Whatever it is, it makes you wish you were there.It makes you wish you were there. Which suggets a connection between blogging and longing. If you were "there" in August you might have been invited to their local blogging conference.
Read the entire article HERE.
Sunday, December 19, 2004
ATTENTION ALL AMERICAN
MEN & WOMEN AGED 16-45:
Pursuant to Sub-Section 8, Paragraph C of Executive Branch Classified Directive #13334-P, dated 1 May 2004, the Armed Forces of the United States stand directed by President George W. Bush to accelerate preparations for compulsory induction of the adult non-homosexual population into active combat duty in the War Against Terror.
SIGN UP HERE
Now I am reviving Megajesus...as a blog, just for the purpose of archiving those early, heady days of the pre-blog web. Please don't take offence at the name. It was in my youth. Anonymoses is slightly less presumptuous.
There is not much up yet, and what is up will need editing. So far I have only posted stuff from 2001. May and June, to be exact. And it was simply my half of messageboard discussions. A little hard to follow, in retrospect, but somewhat reflective of the times.
It was fun to see Bill Gates and company, in '95, scrambling to catch up with the rest of us netheads, who had already realized where the future was heading. For years, I personally put in 12-19 hours per day, every day, building what would become the web as we know it. My specialty was content, and I had what Net Guide called a gargantuan website, giving me 5-stars for my edifice. Most people, at the time, only had one or two pages, and I had a network of 40+. Crazy stuff like "NAA: Nicotine Addicts Anonymous"...which I created to counter the lunacy of the Tobacco Company execs who all claimed it wasn't addictive. We now know better.
In lieu of blogs, writerly types would cloister around writer's groups, chatrooms, forums, messageboards and such. Most websites were gray with only an HR
or BLINK to give it nuance. The hyperlinks, of course, were the crux of the biscuit, though. W3 should still have a decent history of the WWW page, for those interested.
An early test of the power of the web came when I saw, online, that Oklahoma City had witnessed a bombing. Only later did it appear on TV or radio. Quite fortuitously, I had been researching a BATF messageboard, where a lot of nutcases would gather and talk about explosives and getting back at the government, and other nonsense. It was ghastly what some of these people were plotting, and I figured, after OKC, I would find McVeigh's footprints all over the place. There were many potential McVeighs...but after that fateful April day, most flew from the site, and probably wished they had never appeared there in the first place.
This was before talking points and easy spell check, and so the basic stupidity of these angry young men was easy to discern. They have since learned to copy and paste, and use spell check. The stupidity is still there, under the surface.
Anyway, I hope to be able, over the months, to recreate at least some of the gestalt of that creative time.
Now go eat....